by Joe Siegel
Seattle Gay News recently simplified its name, changing to just the initials SGN. Its logo was also updated.
Publisher Angela Cragin explained that one of the reasons for the switch was to reflect changes in the LGBTQ community.
“From what I’ve learned since I came onboard last year, originally the paper served primarily the white male gay audience,” Cragin said. “Since 1974, the readership has taken a different shape. Although the paper has always strove to reflect the voices of all of those in the LGBTQ+ community, the SGN team felt that the name did not necessarily reflect this inclusivity.”
But also, the paper has been referred to as “SGN” for many years, said Cragin. “So you could consider this an official embrace of the acronym that has been used for decades.”
“The new logo represents the unification of not just gay people, but transgender, non-binary, bi-sexual, queer and BIPOC,” Cragin added. “As we move forward into the future, we realized the paper needed to be forward moving as well. It is definitely a new chapter of the paper, which the younger generation cannot only relate to and get excited about, but also allows them to celebrate the historic struggles and victories of their gay founders. Intersecting the generations is important to us because the paper exists for everyone who abides in the LGBTQ+ sector.”
Longtime editor and publisher George Bakan passed away in June 2020. According to the Seattle Times, “Bakan, known as ‘the Governor of Capitol Hill,’ made the weekly newspaper Seattle’s leading source of information about the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s during a time when many news sources blamed gay people for the disease they called ‘gay cancer.’ He also created a place where Seattle’s LGBTQ+ community could feel a sense of solidarity when many states still had laws in place against gay sex.”
A devoted activist and leader in the LGBTQ community, Bakan grew the Seattle Gay News from a small community newsletter into a newspaper with a weekly circulation as high as 13,500.
When asked about how the paper will continue to evolve since Bakan’s death, Cragin, who is Bakan’s daughter, vows to honor the work he began in 1982.
“George had a huge heart for the dignity, humanity and equality of the human condition,” Cragin added. “Our goal is to continue this legacy in a progressive manner.”
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